Wed, Mar 1, 2023

Art & Auctions
Art Dubai - meeting point for creatives

The Middle East’s leading international art fair’s most ambitious edition to date, featuring over 130 contemporary, modern and digital gallery presentations, opened today in Dubai.

Art Dubai, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is a leading global platform for art and artists from the Middle East and Global South. It is being held in Madinat Jumeirah Dubai from March 3 to 5 (previews on March 1 and 2).

Galleries from more than 40 countries across four main sections -- Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba and Art Dubai Digital -- will be complemented by an ambitious partner and non-profit programme, including newly commissioned artworks and premieres by internationally renowned artists. With an expanded education and thought leadership programme, Art Dubai’s 16th edition will be the fair’s largest and most extensive to date.


Art Dubai’s Executive Director Benedetta Ghione commented: “Art Dubai has always tried to reframe what an art fair can be, and this year’s expanded programme fully reflects our role as a meeting point for the region’s creative industries, across the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. As an independent organisation, we pride ourselves on being more than an art fair – we are an incubator of talent, a catalyst for the creative economy here in Dubai, a convener of great minds, and an entry point to this vibrant ecosystem for the wider cultural sector.”

Art Dubai’s Artistic Director Pablo del Val commented: “For nearly two decades, Art Dubai has been a place to discover and celebrate new trends, creating and facilitating conversations, and celebrating the strength of creative output across the Global South. Art Dubai is a truly global art fair, and this is reflected in both the quality and geographic spread of the galleries participating this year. That so much of the programme is once again drawn from the Global South highlights the increased interest in and appetite for collecting non-Western art, the strengthening of the gallery scene beyond the traditional centres of the art world, and the role Art Dubai plays as a platform for regions that are under-represented in international collections."

On renewing their partnership with Art Dubai, Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M. Holding said: “We are delighted to renew and expand our partnership with Art Dubai for a further five years. Art Dubai is one of the most important institutions in the region’s cultural landscape, incubating and supporting innovation and creativity in all its forms and at all ages. Through this partnership we aim to reinforce Dubai’s position as a global centre of culture and to continue empowering the next generation through innovative programmes like the A.R.M. Children’s Programme, which will expand this year to more than 9,000 students."


The 2023 fair will include over 30 first-time participants and more than 60% of the gallery programme is drawn from the Global South, reaffirming Art Dubai’s position as the leading marketplace for art from this rapidly developing region.

Art Dubai Contemporary presents the very best in cutting-edge contemporary art from 76 galleries and 34 countries, with particular focus on art and artists from the Global South. For our 16th edition, we are pleased to welcome 14 first-time exhibitors, and 12 galleries who are returning to Art Dubai after a hiatus. The 2023 edition of Art Dubai will feature 24 Dubai- based galleries, more than ever before, reflecting the continued growth of Dubai’s artistic ecosystem and the emirate’s increasing importance as a global creative and cultural hub.

Art Dubai 2023 also sees the return of Art Dubai Digital, which launched to critical and commercial success at the 2022 fair. This physical section of Art Dubai provides an annual 360-degree snapshot of the digital art landscape, building bridges between the art and technology worlds, and exploring how artists are utilising new, immersive technologies to collapse the boundaries of the traditional art world. The selection is drawn from across 6 continents, reinforcing Art Dubai’s commitment to presenting global perspectives and diversity, inviting audiences to look beyond traditional art centres, and mapping out the key agents and platforms leading the way. Curated by Singapore-based educator and arts writer Clara Che Wei Peh, the expanded 2023 edition will focus on the artists, galleries and institutions who are driving this fast-developing arena.

Bangkok-based Vipash Purichanont curates the 2023 edition of Art Dubai’s Bawwaba section. Meaning ‘gateway’ in Arabic, Bawwaba exclusively features artworks made in the past year or specifically for Art Dubai, and comprises solo presentations by 11 artists hailing from across the Global South. Across a variety of mediums, from painting and tapestry to filmmaking and performance, this section explores how contemporary artists from the Global South bring forth concerns within their worlds, from socio-cultural issues such as the tension between rapid urban development and traditional values, the legacy of colonisation on environment, human relationships in the age of hyperconnectivity, or personal concerns around the meaning of language and void.

The 2023 edition of Art Dubai Modern is curated by Paris-based critic and curator Mouna Mekouar and Italian art historian Lorenzo Giusti (director, GAMeC, Bergamo) and features solo presentations by the region’s modern masters, reinforcing Art Dubai’s commitment to curatorial scholarship and art historical research. The selection focuses on the pioneers of contemporary art in the MENASA area, whose works are retrospectively playing a key role in today's art and, by extension, in art history and reflecting the cultural richness and diversity of the region.

Art Dubai Commissions

Chaupal: A Journey through South Asia is a series of site-specific performances and activations by ten leading artists from South Asia that explore the power of food, ritual, and gathering. Inspired by the chaupal, a public space that encourages community building in rural areas, where people gather to discuss their problems, celebrate pleasures, and share their pains, it is the hub of community life in villages around South Asia. The programme is produced in partnership with Art Dubai’s galleries and several leading South Asian cultural organisations, and comprises a diverse lineup of daily live performances and food-based experiences by artists whose work explores themes of community, celebration, hope, and connection.

Conferences and Talks Programme: Art Dubai’s artistic programme is complemented by the fair’s largest ever thought- leadership programme, convening a broad cross-section of the brightest cultural and creative minds. Continuing the fair’s long-standing commitments to dialogue, diverse voices and the development of Dubai’s cultural infrastructure, the 2023 programme will feature more than 50 sessions in an ambitious daily conference, talks and education programme. Highlights include the 16th edition of Art Dubai’s flagship Global Art Forum, the first Middle East edition of Christie’s Art+Tech summit, a series of Modern and Collector talks developed in partnership with Dubai Collection, and a new event in partnership with the Art Business Conference. 

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